14 Fun Banana Split Toppings to Try

The banana split a well-known dessert classic around the world, traditionally made with a banana sliced in half in a long bowl that resembles a small boat, then topped with ice cream (usually chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry, but three vanilla is a normal choice as well), whipped topping, chocolate, and strawberry syrup, pineapple sauce and an optional cherry and nuts or sprinkles. However, there are so many more ways that you can top this retro delight to shake things up a bit.

If you’re a banana split fan, fasten your seatbelts as we cruise through the history of the banana split and how you can put a new twist on an old favorite with 14 fun topping ideas.

The History of Banana Splits

The history of the banana split starts with its invention, which ended up getting a tall tale all its own as the years went on.

According to the legend, the banana split was invented in the year 1907 by a man named Ernest R. Hazard. Hazard owned a restaurant in Wilmington, Ohio, and was hoping that a new ice cream treat would help to attract business from some of the local students from Wilmington College.

Lore says that to invent the new treat, he sponsored a dessert inventing competition. Hazard’s entry was a banana cut in half lengthwise with three scoops of ice cream, chocolate sauce, pineapple, strawberry syrup, whipped cream, nuts, and two cherries on top. With this delicious delight, Hazard won the competition, and thus brought even more business to his restaurant. To this day, the city of Wilmington hosts the Banana Split Festival every June in honor of this local legend’s sweet invention.

Although the real story isn’t extremely far off from real life, you can definitely tell where the embellishments are. The banana split was actually invented by a man named David Strickler, a pharmacy worker in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, and he created the dessert in 1904 in order to bring more business to the pharmacy.

Fun Toppings to Try on Your Next Banana Split

Sometimes, classics recipes need something new and fresh to keep things exciting, so we’ve compiled some of the most fun toppings to try on a banana split to give it a little extra something.

Graham Cracker Crumbs and Mini Marshmallows

To make your banana split s’more special, make your banana split with the three scoops of vanilla, then top with mini marshmallows, graham cracker crumbs, then your chocolate syrup, whipped cream, and cherries if you desire.

Fresh Fruit

Go nuts with a variety of your favorite fresh fruits to create a delicious symphony of flavors and textures, along with the usual toppings. Plus, it’s a great way to get more fruit in your diet!

Peanut Butter and Reeses Pieces

Use sweet, salty, creamy peanut butter and Reeses Pieces as toppings for a vanilla ice cream or chocolate ice cream sundae along with chocolate syrup, whipped cream, and cherries if you desire, then top with Reeses Pieces and be prepared to be amazed by how decadent this classic dessert becomes.

Butterscotch Sauce

Switch out your pineapple ice cream sauce for some butterscotch sauce to add a sweet, toasted depth to your banana split. You might just be surprised at how much you love this combination!

Shredded Coconut and Chopped Pineapple

Make your banana split a bit more tropical by topping it off with shredded coconut and some chopped pineapple along with your pineapple ice cream sauce.

Marshmallow Creme

Top your banana split with all of your other favorite toppings, then instead of using whipped cream, go for some marshmallow creme instead to add a bit of depth in flavor as well as density and texture.

Raspberry Sauce or Jam

Replace your pineapple sauce with raspberry sauce or jam on your next banana split. This sweet, yet slightly tart berry dances on the tongue as it is but adding it to your split will cause a full-on taste bud dance party in your mouth.

Crushed Oreos and Andes Mint Chocolate Candies

Put a mint chocolate spin on your banana split by topping the three scoops of vanilla or chocolate ice cream with chocolate syrup, whipped cream, and then sprinkling on some crushed Oreo cookies and Andes mint chocolate candies.

Cookie Crumbles

A simple way to top off your banana split is by taking your favorite cookie(s) and crumbling them up, then sprinkling them over your whipped cream.

Blackberries and Raspberries

After your pineapple, chocolate, and strawberry ice cream toppings are on, throw in some fresh raspberries and blackberries before you add the whipped topping and finish it off. The plump, juicy berries add a burst of sweet and tart flavor to the split.

Caramel Sauce

Omit the strawberry and pineapple sauce and use caramel sauce along with your chocolate sauce instead over three scoops of vanilla ice cream or chocolate ice cream for a rich, buttery-sweet hint of flavor that meshes well with the overall banana split.

Chocolate Chip

Try sprinkling on some chocolate chips instead of using chocolate syrup on your next banana split. The beautiful thing about this topping is you have so many choices, such as dark chocolate and semi-sweet.


Pour some fresh, plump, juicy blueberries over your banana split to add even more fruity goodness!

Graham Cracker Crumbs and Cherry Pie Filling

To add a cherry pie kind of vibe to your next banana split, use cherry pie filling in place of the strawberry and pineapple sauce. Omit the chocolate syrup over top and add your whipped cream, sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs, and then top with cherries if you like.

Have Some Fun with Your Next Banana Split

Use these 14 fun topping ideas to mix up your next banana split or create a banana split bar for your next party and let guests have a ball creating their own delicious designs.


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